WATERMANS arts centre in Brentford this week received the heartfelt support of a top comedian in its desperate fight against 'shameful' funding cuts.
Funny girl Jo Brand, who was filming in the area, threw her weight behind the campaign to save the riverside facility from financial ruin.
Last December the Arts Council, which hands out public money to cultural venues, outlined plans to axe nearly £500,000 from its annual grant to Watermans in April.
The centre, in Brentford High Street, runs numerous community projects, including the largest club for people with learning difficulties in Europe, as well as hosting films and plays.
The 50-year-old star called on the Arts Council to rethink the move.
She told the Chronicle: "I support any sort of theatrical venture. Rather than cutting grants, they should be increasing them.
"These sort of places are important for local people in west London. You have the West End but the average person cannot afford that, so their only access to theatre is somewhere like Watermans. Any closure would be shameful."
Meanwhile staff there remain on tenterhooks as they await the verdict on their appeal to the Arts Council - expected by the end of this week.
Marketing director Leigh Stops said: "I would like to say I'm confident but the decision is obviously not in our hands and all we could do is bring things to the attention of the Arts Council.
"We feel we've done that really well and everyone has been terrific - from the MPs to local councillors to residents."
More than 3,000 people have signed a petition calling for funding to be reinstated.
Ms Brand visited Watermans on Tuesday to film scenes for an initiative involving the Hounslow Mental Health team, to be distributed to schools, colleges and youth groups.
It aims to give young people a better understanding of psychosis so they can seek support in the early stages of mental illness.
However, it was not her first appearance at Watermans.
"I was in a stand-up show there about 20 years ago, but I don't really remember it," said Ms Brand.
"You only remember the ones where you die on your arse, so it must've been all right."